The Phil Wicks Driving School:

The first event of the fall is the Phil Wicks driving school at the Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC, sponsored by MINI of Charleston, on September 22 and 23.  You can download a map of the circuit here.

It is a two day curriculum.  A person can sign up for one day only, if they wish, but they are encouraged to take advantage of the two day program.  If a novice (has never been on a track before, regardless of what they think their street driving capabilities are) wishes to sign up for one day, completion of the Safe Driving Curriculum is required and that will be offered on Saturday morning only.

The track is such that it can be divided into two tracks on the Saturday morning.  On Track A,Novices will complete the safe driving curriculum while, at the same time, on Track B the advanced and expert drivers will be experiencing their track time.  The Safe Driving Curriculum consists of several exercises so that the driver can experience theirs and their car's reactions to certain situations – emergency lane change, slalom, and ABS and non-ABS braking.  This is an accident avoidance course to build confidence into the driver.

Once the Novices have completed the Safe Driving Curriculum and have been signed off by their instructor, they will begin track driving – with classroom and on-track instruction.  The track will be combined at that point allowing all drivers to take advantage of the full track.  

For our group, they have made a special following fee structure available:


• $125 Saturday morning only

• $200 full day Saturday (normally allows only one track drive; however, your novices will receive 4 or 5 on-track sessions 

• $400 for two days

Intermediate and Expert:

• $275 for one day

• $400 for two days

These prices will be in effect until September 8. After that, the rates will increase to those published on the website.  So register ASAP as this event always fills up quickly. If there are any documented experts in our group that want to run solo, they may call Phil Wicks to discuss it.  They only allow those drivers known to us to participate in that fashion.

Two rounds of the North American MINI Cooper Championship Race Series will be held at Carolina and televised by Chet Burkes productions.  It will be great to see.  They do encourage non-participants to attend and sign up for the on-track touring laps that happen during the lunch period – $25 per car for non registered people, free to participants.  There is also a welcome dinner on the Friday evening before the event for participants that bought their cars from MINI of Charleston.

This would be a GREAT opportunity for us, since it is a driving school just for MINIS!!!!  Phil Wicks drove the red Mini in the original Italian Job movie.  He would be the perfect person to learn how to drive our cars from!  Phil Wicks himself has encouraged us to participate, so if you want to go, let us know! 

23rd Annual British Car Day:

The other event is the 23rd annual British Car Day on Saturday, October 27 at Historic Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, SC.  There is more info about this event and a registration form here. This can be a one or two day event, with a welcome dinner (and trolley tour) on Friday, and the main events on Saturday.  There are prizes awarded, and a raffle car to win.